Indian Government Confronts Google After Indian Apps Removed from Play Store

Indian Government Confronts Google After Indian Apps Removed from Play Store

Indian government asserts protection for startups as it confronts Google over the removal of 10 Indian apps from the Play Store.

The Indian government has taken a firm stance against Google following the removal of 10 Indian apps from the Google Play Store. This move has sparked a dispute over non-payment of service fees, prompting the government to declare that such delisting cannot be permitted.

In an interview with PTI, IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasized the importance of protecting the startup ecosystem in India's economy. Vaishnaw affirmed that India is committed to ensuring the necessary protection for its startups, emphasizing that their future cannot be dictated by major tech corporations. Vaishnaw stated, "India is very clear, our policy is very clear...our startups will get the protection that they need."

In response to Google's removal of apps, the minister disclosed plans for a meeting with Google and the delisted app developers to find a solution. He categorically stated, "I have already called Google...I have already called the app developers who have been delisted, we will be meeting them next week. This cannot be permitted. This kind of delisting cannot be permitted."

"I will be telling Google...Our entrepreneurial energy...startups, look at the whole startup India programme, 10 years back, we had practically nothing, and today we have more than 1,00,000 startups, more than 100 unicorns...this is something...the energy of our youth, the energy of our entrepreneurs, the energy of our talented people that has to be channelised fully well, it cannot be left to the policies of any big tech," the Minister told PTI.

Reason for Indian Apps Removal

The dispute arose from Google's imposition of service fees ranging from 11 to 26 percent on in-app payments, following an order by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). This decision came after the Supreme Court denied interim relief to companies challenging Google's new fee structure, leading to the removal of apps that refused to comply.

Despite expressing discontent with Google's actions, companies like Bharat Matrimony and Kuku FM, among others, are hopeful for a resolution. The government has scheduled a meeting next week with Google and the affected startups to address the escalating issue and find a mutually beneficial solution.

India's vibrant startup ecosystem, boasting over one lakh startups and more than 100 unicorns, underscores the nation's commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Minister Vaishnaw reiterated the government's determination to protect the interests of Indian startups, emphasizing the need to harness the energy of the youth and entrepreneurs for the country's economic growth.

The forthcoming meeting signals a proactive approach by the government to address the concerns of Indian startups and ensure a conducive environment for their growth and development.

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